Women are inundated with pressure to be successful in work and at home. They make time for service to others and check off their whole to-do list. Our busy lives mean it’s no wonder that feeling happy and productive at the end of a long day seems so elusive.
If you’d like to shift your outlook and begin turning towards a lifestyle that feels happy, healthy, and successful, these seven habits will give you a jumpstart.
Reaffirm Your Goals and Plans
Rather than just making a to-do list that focuses on the short-term tasks, spend time each day thinking about those that help move you towards long-term goals and plans. Florence Nightingale mused that “happiness is the gradual realization of a worthy ideal or goal.” Rather than getting happiness only from the big, final successes, try to find the bits of happiness in the gradual steps along the way. Spending time each day reflecting on your progress and forward motion will help you feel happier and more productive.
Women who find themselves with challenging tasks during the day have two choices: embrace the obstacles and confidently charge forward or let the challenges overwhelm you and give up. Eleanor Roosevelt famously said, “You can often change your circumstances by changing your attitude.” The way you view challenges has the most significant impact on whether you overcome them. If you spend time complaining (even just to yourself), you’re using time and energy on the complaints rather than completing the task. Women who are happiest and most productive learn to avoid complaining and reframe difficulties as potential opportunities for growth and adaptation.
Get Enough Sleep
Most women don’t get the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep per night. If you’re “trying to do it all” and sacrificing sleep in the process, you may be doing more harm than good. The American Psychological Association explains that sleep deprivation impairs memory and concentration, two components that are crucial to being productive .”Too little shuteye has been linked to… poor work performance and problems with mood and relationships.” Make time for consistent sleep, and you’ll see your productivity and happiness skyrocket.
It isn’t easy to feel productive and accomplished when your to-do list is overwhelmingly long. The happiest women prioritize their daily tasks so they don’t regret where their energy went during the day. Making space for self-care deserves particular attention when prioritizing. Pouring your energy solely into others will quickly leave you feeling depleted. So don’t feel guilty adding self-care tasks to those priority lists!
Have a Routine
According to famous aviator Amelia Earhart, “the most effective way to do it, is to do it.” Having a routine that incorporates your priorities and responsibilities is best to ensure things get done. A routine lets you get into a rhythm, so your mental and physical energy aren’t going into remembering what to do next. You’ll get more accomplished when you spend less time thinking about your tasks (and just doing them instead). The more you check off your list, the happier you’ll feel!
Focus on Your Strengths
Accurately assessing their strengths is a trait that successful women share. Even when we’re trying to “do it all,” we do some things better than others. Rather than being ashamed of your weak spots, reframe your outlook and plan your day around your strengths. Look for the tasks that don’t align with your best work, and outsource those if you can.
No matter what your accomplishments—try practicing gratitude. Write in a journal for five minutes, sit quietly, or share words of encouragement and praise with those close to you. Oprah Winfrey points out that “what you focus on expands, and when you focus on the goodness in your life, you create more of it.” There’s no better way to feel happy and productive than to spend time intentionally noticing how well you’ve already achieved that success.
Whether you incorporate one or all of these habits into your daily routine, you’ll see a difference in mindset and productivity almost immediately!